Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology


I am Associate Editor for this new, refereed journal by Berkley Electronic Press and published two papers in their first year: Miah, A. (2008) Letter to Utopia

Miah, A. (2008) Engineering greater resilience or radical transhuman enhancement?

Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology

Looking towards the horizon and back into history we recognize the difficult ethical and legal questions that are posed by technological developments. In response, Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology publishes high quality, pioneering, articles that combine conceptual analysis and normative deliberations in order to shape academic and policy debate.

Title(s): Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology Published by: Berkeley Electronic Press (Inaugural Issue December 2007) Summary: An interdisciplinary journal of ethics, law and policy that publishes high quality articles that engage with issues raised by developments in emerging technologies that are likely to have an impact on humanity, society and/or the environment.

Editors-in-Chief: Mr Anthony Mark Cutter, Barrister-at-Law, Senior Lecturer in Ethics, Law and Governance, Centre for Professional Ethics, University of Central Lancashire & Dr Bert Gordijn, University Medical Centre, Radboud University, Nijmegen

Academic Rationale: The five basic tenets that underline the need for a forum to explore issues relating to Ethics, Law and Technology are: 1. Technologies are developing faster and their impact is bigger than ever before. 2. New synergies emerge between formerly independently developing technologies, triggering unpredictable and accelerated technological developments. 3. New and powerful ethical ideas and moral ideologies have appeared about the use of the new technologies, e.g. ideas about the precautionary principle or ideologies about changing the blueprint of man. 4. Technological progress and its moral quandaries call for new policies and legislative responses. 5. In response to said developments new academic and governance debates are emerging.

These debates have local, regional and global dimensions and lack an appropriate forum. Developments in science, technology and communications give rise to social, moral and legal dilemmas that in turn require appropriate ethical, legal and social responses. From roots in philosophy, and applied ethics the discipline of bioethics has emerged as an interdisciplinary pursuit. The International Association of Bioethics defines “Bioethics [as] the study of the ethical, social, legal, philosophical and other related issues arising in health care and in the biological sciences”. Whilst presenting an umbrella of disciplines, this definitions limits its scope of enquiry to “health care and in the biological sciences”. In their report Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance the National Science Foundation predicts that “[i]n the early decades of the 21st century, concentrated efforts can unify science based on the unity of nature, thereby advancing the combination of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and new technologies based in cognitive science. With proper attention to ethical issues and societal needs, converging technologies could achieve a tremendous improvement in human abilities, societal outcomes, the nation’s productivity, and the quality of life. This is a broad, crosscutting, emerging and timely opportunity of interest to individuals, society and humanity in the long term”.1 Against this background, there is a definite need for an expansion of this field of inquiry to include a broader focus than the IAB definition affords. New moral dilemmas, posed by interdisciplinary (congregant) trends in science and technology, require an equivalent cross fertilisation in the corresponding analytical and normative analysis in order to provide appropriate policy and governance responses. As such there is a need to establish a forum to publish work that integrates and applies “ethics” and “legal” approaches to a wider range of technologies than is currently en vogue. As Chadwick and Berg observed in Nature “developments in science and technology have a value impact— they can change the way we look at things and call for new principles to mediate between competing interests”2. This concept logically extends beyond philosophical and ethical discussions into an applied context. The governance of science, technology and communications logically requires the development of new legal and ethical frameworks that respond to the new issues raised. The relationship between law and morality, and thus law and ethics, is arguably the oldest topic of discussion in jurisprudence. In relation to the moral dilemmas created by developments in science, technology and communications understanding and articulating this relationship becomes even more complex. As Häyry observes in the opening lines of the short essay Do Regulations address concerns3: “[p]eople can have concerns regarding [technologies], such concerns, if they exist, are likely to develop into political issues, which have to be settled by public authorities But the public authorities do not always know what concerns people have, or how they could be properly addressed”

In a separate essay, the same theorist contends that:

“If the decisions reached are truly acceptable to all those involved, the initial concerns have effectively been accounted for. But if some, or many, people are still concerned, repeated or additional philosophical arguments are not the answer. Perhaps others can suggest what is.”4 These comments identify a practical need to explore the synergies between law and ethics in the context of developments in science and technology. The ethical and legal discussions around new technologies are complex, and the development of adequate regulatory and governance procedures is often difficult. As Robert J. Oppenheimer observed: “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb”. As these technological developments continue at an ever-increasing pace, they in turn trigger unprecedented ethical and legal questions. In the modern era, contrary to Oppenheimer’s commentary, when new technologies continue to emerge that are “technically sweet” and the convergence of various fields of scientific knowledge continues to provide further opportunities for technological advancement, the ethical and legal debate must be pro- active and not reactive. 1 Roco, M et al, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science, Arlington: NSF, 2002 2 Ruth Chadwick and Kåre Berg, Solidarity and equity: new ethical frameworks for genetic databases, Nature Reviews Genetics: Volume 2, April 2001, 319 3 Häyry, M, Do regulations address concerns? in Arnason et al, Blood and Data: Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Human Genetic Databases, Reykjavik: University of Iceland Press, 2004, 201 - 207 4 Häyry, M, Can arguments address concerns? J Med Ethics 2005; 31:598–600

Aims & Scope Technological advances provide opportunities and challenges that require a policy response. Policy Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology publishes high quality work that explores the synergy between law and ethics in an effort to provide a robust response to these opportunities and challenges. More specifically, the focus of the journal will be on technologies that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment, society and/or humanity. This will include, but not be limited to: Biotechnologies Nanotechnologies Neurotechologies Information Technologies Weapons and Security Technology Energy and Fuel Technology Space based technologies New Media and Communication Technologies

Thus, the journal has a broad interdisciplinary focus, and accepts submissions with both an applied and theoretical approach. Work with a policy or governance focus is particularly encouraged.

Associate Editors • Associate Editor (Neurotechnologies): Lt. Colonel William Casebeer, USAF/ NATO (USA/Belgium)5 • Associate Editor (Biotechnologies): Dr. Michael Selgelid, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Canberra (Australia)6 • Associate Editor (New Media and Communication Technologies): Dr Andy Miah, Reader in New Media & Bioethics, School of Media, Language & Music (UK)7 • Associate Editor ( Nanotechnologies): Dr. Pat Lin, Director, Nanoethics Group, Santa Barbara, California (USA)8 • Associate Editor (Space Based Technologies): Dr David Grinspoon, Curator, Denver Museum of Science and Technology, Colorado (USA)9 • Associate Editor (Information Technology): Jeffrey H. Matsuura, Of Counsel to ALG. & Assistant Professor and Director of the Program in Law & Technology at the University of Dayton Law School in Dayton, Ohio, (USA)10 • Associate Editor (Weapons and Security Technology): Kush Wadhwa, Managing Director, Global Security Intelligence (USA)11 • Associate Editor (Fuel and Energy Technologies): Dr John Paterson, Reader, Law School, University Aberdeen (UK)12

5 http://www.humancondition.info/people/WilliamCasebeer.html 6 http://www.cappe.edu.au/people/selgmi/selgmi.htm 7 http://www.andymiah.net/, 8 www.nanoethics.org 9 http://www.funkyscience.net/ 10 http://www.alliancelawgroup.com/jm.html, 11 http://globalseci.com/?page_id=5 12 http://www.abdn.ac.uk/law/staffmember.php?ID=46

International Editorial Advisory Board: The Editors-in-Chief propose to assemble a large multi-disciplinary Editorial Advisory Board of global experts with the skills and knowledge base to create a forum for scholarly discussion of a broad range of technological developments from an analytical and normative point of view.

Book Reviews Editor: The Editors-in-Chief will appoint a book review editor who will have editorial management over the book reviews section of the journal. Book Reviews Editor: Dr. David Resnik, National Institute of Environmental Health Science and National Institutes of Health, (USA) 13 13 http://dir.niehs.nih.gov/ethics/bioethicist.htm

Bio-sketches of the Editors-in-Chief: Bert Gordijn studied Philosophy and History at the Universities of Utrecht (the Netherlands), Strasbourg (France) and Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany). In December 1995 he was awarded a doctorate in Philosophy; in September 2003 he received a doctorate in Bioethics. Bert is a Lecturer within the Bioethics Department at the Radboud University of Nijmegen (Netherlands). He is Secretary of the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care, an academic society with more than 490 members from 50 different countries. Furthermore, he is Editor-in-Chief (together with W. Dekkers) of Medicine, Health Care and hilosophy. Finally, Bert is a member of the scientific advisory board to the European Patent ffice as well as a member of the scientific advisory panel to the European Chemistry Council. Anthony Mark Cutter is Senior Lecturer in Ethics, Governance and Law at the Centre for Professional Ethics, University of Central Lancashire (UK). He was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple (London), and has professional qualifications in rbitration and Mediation. In addition he has studied bioethics at the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen, Lancaster). He has written and lectured internationally on a range of governance issues relating to new technologies especially within the fields of genomics and nanotechnology. In the UK, he is a Governor of the Royal National College for the Blind, a Trustee of the Lancashire Family Mediation Service and has been appointed by the Home Office to be a Member of Board of the National Probation Service (Cumbria).